“Bitcoin is not just a minor incremental change, it’s not a payments network. Bitcoin is one of the most fundamental transformations on the basis of money,” he told the audience.
Antonopoulos was one of the speakers in the ‘Beyond Bitcoin – unleashing the potential of the blockchain’ session together with Blockchain CEO Peter Smith and Brian Forde from MIT Media Lab.
He is one of the best known figures in the bitcoin industry, who works as a public speaker to provide people with an insight into the cryptocurrency world. In 2014, he wrote a book, called Mastering Bitcoin, which offers a description of the decentralized currency, including its architecture and technological foundation.
Speaking on the evolution of money, Antonopoulos noted that people don’t have clear understanding of money. Until now, we have seen four main transformations of money forms, which include the switch to precious metals, to paper money and finally the bitcoin creation.
“It is the most abstract form of money we have ever created,” he said. “It is the least physical form of money in history.”
Antonopoulos stressed that bitcoin is not a currency, calling it a “network-centric model for recording ownership and trust”. Bitcoin is the “internet of money and currency is just the first act”.
According to Antonopoulos, the cryptocurrency changes many aspects of money. He believes the virtual currency has the potential to solve the problem of identity theft, one of the main issues in the finance sector.
In the system of traditional banking, the personal data of customers is collected at each stage of transaction, what means there is always a risk of fraud. The benefit of digital currency is that it doesn’t require personal information to complete a transaction.
Speaking about the technology behind the cryptocurrency, Antonopoulos called it boring. “The Blockchain itself is boring technology… it’s Quicken, only slow and distributed,” he said.
In an interview with WIRED editor David Rowan he said bitcoin is not yet ready to solve crises like that in Greece. “Greece is not ready for Bitcoin and Bitcoin is not ready for Greece,” he stated.
There have been discussions in Greece that the government will adopt bitcoin instead of issuing money. The key problem is liquidity, which cannot be solved by changing currencies. Still, bitcoin can be a safe instrument to preserve savings.
“Bitcoin is about people having a safe haven out of the current currency control systems. It is also non-national, heralding a moment where governments lose all control of money. One day, perhaps in 10 years, we will see massive disruption from that” Antonopoulos said.